Finding Community as Expectant Parents

by Levi & Taylor Zen

This summer the Zen family will welcome a baby into their lives. These two leaders have spent many years pouring into other families (as Kids and Student Directors) and are excited to be growing as a family. We asked them to share what they have learned, even in the past nine months!

“Hi! We’re Levi and Taylor, and we are excited to welcome our first baby girl in July. While the anticipation of meeting her brings us much joy, it can leave us feeling anxious about the unknown, and about how our lives will change. We knew from the beginning that parenthood was something we could not do without support. Even now, we have been overwhelmed by the number of amazing people who have come around us during this pregnancy to speak life into us.

With our biological families being states away, we have leaned into our church family for support. Many people at Schweitzer have “adopted” us. From providing baby supplies to checking in on us consistently, our community here has shown us how much we can rely on them. We are thankful God has given us so many people who already love our baby. Schweitzer is truly a place in which we are excited to watch her grow up.

For us, this community did not happen by accident. When we moved to Springfield in 2021, we knew nobody, and it was hard. It brought us out of our comfort zone, but we both knew getting involved in a community was a priority. We tried out small groups, went to events, and sought out relationships with positive people around us. Eventually, we both found people at Schweitzer who cared for the same things we did and built friend groups and support networks through those connections. The friends we spend time with regularly inside and outside of church are the same friends who have shown up for us when we needed support during this pregnancy. You don’t know who you can learn from and who will be there for you without taking the time to just do life with your people.

We encourage any other new parents who might be feeling anxious or overwhelmed to lean into community and let people in. It can be scary asking for help, but we’ve learned that people want to help. No one is meant to go through life alone, it’s why God gave us the Church. You are not a burden for needing help. You are simply human, and being a human is so much better when you’re in community.

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